Featured Chalk Artists 2019
In 2019, the Sounds & Sights Festival will feature several renowned pavement artists from across the region. We were pleased to have the opportunity to showcase these artists and their talents, with our thanks to our sponsorships.
Dave & Shelley Brenner
Shelley Brenner discovered street painting several years ago through a local chalk art competition in her hometown of Chelsea, Michigan. Since that time she has participated in a variety of chalk events throughout the Midwest and has enjoyed sharing her love of chalk art as a featured artist. A lifelong artist, Shelley began her higher education with a fine arts scholarship at Wayne State University in Detroit, MI. Today she works as a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist in Lansing, MI.
Born and raised in the Land of the Midnight Sun, Dave Brenner hails from Fairbanks, Alaska and currently resides with his chalk artist wife, Shelley Brenner, in Chelsea Michigan. He holds a BFA with a concentration in painting and a BA in theater from the University of Alaska – Fairbanks. He is now the Creative Director at the University of Michigan School of Natural Resources and Environment. His fine art and photography has been featured at multiple venues throughout Alaska and the Midwest. Dave discovered that his dual passions for painting and acting translated seamlessly into street painting. He loves to bring images to life in large scale while engaging with interested passersby.
Lives in Chelsea, Michigan and has participated in several Chelsea Chalk Art events and the Dexter Daze "Chalk the Block" events. As a chalk hobbyist and father of boys, he tends to focus on super heroes and things that bring kids joy. John is a graduate from Lawrence Tech with a BA in Architect and works for Allen Edwin Homes, a Michigan home builder out of Kalamazoo.
Leo Hernandez Jr.
Graduated from Kendall college with a major in Illustration and a minor in Graphic Design. Has been working as a graphic designer since graduation. He has also worked freelance doing portraits in many types of media. Leo started entering chalk art competitions about 6 years ago and has enjoyed meeting talented artists and the people that come to enjoy the festivals displaying the artwork.
Best in Show Winner from 2018 Chalk Art Contest
Alexis Kole is currently studying Digital Media, with a focus on 2D Animation, at Kendall College of Art and Design. When not working on school projects, she picks up miscellaneous freelance work such as tattoo designs, caricatures, t-shirts, and band merch.
Chris M. Monaghan
Chris M. Monaghan got started with chalk events in 2011 at the St. Joseph Michigan Chalk the Block. Since then he has participated in numerous art festivals including Chelsea Chalk Art, The Ann Arbor Art & Brew Fest, West Michigan Chalk Festival, The Columbus Chalk the Block in Ohio and most recently the Dogwood Arts Festival in Knoxville, TN. Chris enjoys creating realistic 3D designs that people can have fun interacting with. In 2014, he founded the Dexter Chalk the Block Festival which is now part of Dexter Daze. Chris an this family reside just down the road in Dexter and he is the owner of a local Farm Bureau Insurance agency in Ann Arbor.
Jasmine Pilkinton began chalking 3 years ago with her dad, Jeff. She has worked on various school murals and flyers, window paintings, and chalk art. Her art has been published in Rhett and Link’s Book of Mythicality. She has been accepted into the University of Saint Francis with a talent scholarship for animation.
"I absolutely love working large scale. The bigger the better. Street painting is a great way to accomplish this. Most pieces are bigger than 6 feet by 6 feet. I also love the whole physical aspect of street painting. The elements, the constant squatting and standing, the crawling around, the long days (sometimes up to twelve hrs), call me crazy but I love it. The best thing about public street art is the people that come out to see it. The interaction with the public is what makes it so rewarding. I have met a lot of great people through street painting. From the fellow artist, promoters, venders, and the public. Its always been so positive. And this is why I love it."
Street Painting originated in the Renaissance, when artists would paint images of the Madonna outside of cathedrals. The term given to these artists- "madonnari"-is still used today by Street Artists. Modern Madonnaro Erika Thurkins is a Buffalo, NY area professional portraitist and chalk artist who creates dynamic street art for festivals, businesses, and events in WNY--and travels for venues in other states--employing custom designs and/or selected content